The Bar Awards Kuala Lumpur and Penang announces its winners during a big industry bash at APW (Bangsar). By Holly Graham.

The best of the best in Kuala Lumpur and Penang’s bar industries have just been revealed this evening at APW, with Coley, Bar Trigona and Omakase + Appreciate scooping two awards each.

Coley’s Caden Chua won The Rising Star Award, and the bar also took home the all-important Bar of the Year – Kuala Lumpur award. Sister bar and gin haven Pahit took the prize for Best Specialist Concept, while Omakase + Appreciate won Most Creative Cocktail Program and co-owner Shawn Chong deservedly won Bartender of the Year – Kuala Lumpur.

Mish Mash dominated the two Penang awards, winning Bar of the Year – Penang and bar supervisor Spencer Ezra won Bartender of the Year – Penang. Bar Trigona won both Best Hotel Bar and Best New Bar – a great achievement considering the bar only opened at the Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur this July.

The Bar Awards recognises top bars and hospitality advocates in Kuala Lumpur and Penang and to get to this point, the Lead Panel of local industry experts decided on all the categories for KL and the two for Penang, covering drinking and dining experiences as well as the city’s best bartending talent.

These categories then went to public nominations, followed by the public nominees being passed to The Panel, a group of 49 industry members selected by The Lead Panel, to decide the Top 10s followed by the Top 4s, and finally the award winners listed below:

The Bar Awards Luminaries, presented by the House of Angostura
This is the first year that The Bar Awards Luminaries, presented by the House of Angostura has been introduced to Kuala Lumpur and Penang. The inductees to The Bar Awards Luminaries are those that have greatly contributed to the growth and development of the Malaysian bar community. The two inductees for 2018 are Kim Choong (Thirst Magazine) and Ben Ng (Mish Mash).

The Rising Star, presented by Perrier
Caden Chua Hui Chan (Coley)

Best Restaurant Bar, presented by Tito’s Vodka

Best Beer Bar, presented by Peroni
Taps Beer Bar

Best Wine Bar, presented by Mumm Champagne

Best Hotel Bar, presented by Pierre Ferrand Cognac
Bar Trigona (Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur)

Best Specialist Concept, presented by Restaurant, Pub and Bar Asia
Pahit (Gin)

Best Hospitality Ambassador, presented by Fever-Tree
Andrew Tan (61 Monarchy, Hyde)

Best Hospitality Team, presented by Hendrick’s Gin

Most Creative Cocktail Program, presented by Cointreau
Omakase + Appreciate

Best New Bar, presented by Campari
Bar Trigona (Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur)

Bartender of the Year – Penang, presented by Giffard
Spencer Ezra (Mish Mash)

Bartender of the Year – Kuala Lumpur, presented by Monkey Shoulder
Shawn Chong (Omakase + Appreciate)

Bar of the Year – Penang, presented by Havana Club
Mish Mash

Bar of the Year – Kuala Lumpur, presented by Mekhong, the Spirit of Thailand
Coley Cocktail Bar

To learn more about The Bar Awards, see our hub page here, or their Facebook page here.

DRiNK Magazine is the official publication partner for The Bar Awards 2018.